Tips on maintaining good posture when WFH

We’ve got a hunch that you’ve got to fix your posture! Get rid of back pain by making sure you’re sitting up straight at your desk.

Most office workers and students, at one point or another, have experienced back pain. Healthxchange SG reports that musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are incredibly common in Singapore. This pain is characterised by discomfort, impairment, disability, or persistent pain in the joints, muscles, tendons or other soft tissues. In fact, a recent study conducted by Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on the prevalence of MSD among office workers in Singapore revealed that 73.4% of the 324 respondents experienced pain in at least one part of their body.

Apart from getting up to stretch every 30 minutes, or looking away from the computer every 20 minutes to avoid eye strain, there are more steps that can be taken to ease those persistent backaches. Park yourself at your desk while keeping in mind the following tips.


Monitor Height

Make sure you’re sitting up straight for this! Based on this height, you can adjust the monitor height so that the top of your monitor screen is at or slightly below eye level. To check that your monitor is at the right height, your eyes should be looking slightly downward when you’re viewing the middle of the screen.

Tilting your screen up slightly also helps keep your head in line with your torso, which means that you’ll be putting less strain on your neck and shoulders throughout the day.


Distance From Monitor

While maintaining at least 1m away from other people while in public, you don’t have to go to those lengths with your computer screen. All you have to do is position the monitor at least 51 cm (20 inches) away from your eyes to minimise eye strain.

To ensure you’re far enough without whipping out measuring tape, simply use your arm! The monitor should be around arm’s length away.


Elbows, Arms and Wrists

This is a posture you might have to consciously practice to get used to—keep your elbows at your sides and your forearms parallel to the floor! It’s also important to position your keyboard so that you can reach it comfortably without having to move your elbows too much.

Additionally, heavy mouse users often report wrist pain. Sidestep this issue by incorporating wrist exercises. Lay your forearm on a flat surface and rotate your wrist in a full clockwise motion for five repetitions. Then reverse the motion to perform five full anticlockwise motions.


Chair with Backrest

Baby got back! When you’re seated, tilt your pelvis forward so that you’re almost sitting on your hamstrings. Avoid putting excess pressure on your tailbone. This lets you relax your neck and shoulder muscles, which means less back pain.


Flat Feet on the Floor

Both of your feet ought to be flat on the floor. For those who love sitting cross-legged or on one of your legs, know that this position is inadvisable as it encourages slouching, which can lead to back pain. However, if your chair is a little too high for you to have both feet on the ground, consider investing in a footrest or simply use a stool or box.

With these helpful tips on maintaining good posture, you can bid goodbye to backaches (hopefully forever)! For more ideas on how to make full use of your time during this circuit-breaker, read about how you can restore your old makeup brushes to their former glory in four simple steps!